From Scarcity to Abundance Unveiling the Need for IPv6 Adoption

The Need for IPv6 Adoption

The driving force behind the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 - the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses. Learn about the challenges and the urgency for both industry and government to embrace this critical shift.

The unique characteristics of IPv6 in fulfillment of IPv4's deficiencies, and the challenges confronting both the industry and the government in transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6.

Between the reading completed for the case study on IPv4 to IPv6 and the reading completed this week, learning about the transition to IPv6 has been interesting, eye-opening, and jaw-dropping. There have been more than 400 Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Request for Comments (RFC) for IPv6 since April 2015, as pointed out by IPv6now. (2015) and the many National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) documents on converting from IPV6 from IPv4, which is referred to by the federal government, and NIST documents as USGv6, as CIO (2012) points out. As described by the CIO (2012), the government aimed to upgrade internal client applications that communicate with public Internet servers and support enterprise networks to use native IPv6 by the end of FY 2014 operationally. The USG IPv6 & DNSSEC External Service Deployment Status graph, as depicted by ANTD (2017), shows 758 websites out of 1093; just under 70% of the websites are still running IPv4 as of 4/13/2017.

The unique characteristic that is the main driver for transitioning to IPv6 is the simple fact that when the IPv4 addresses run out, the Internet world will need to convert to IPv6. Only when there is a significant news item that a worldwide service or application will no longer function on IPv4 will many companies, organizations, and households see an urgency to transition to IPv6. A good headline might be that Internet users may no longer stream video until upgrading to IPv6’, which might get the world population to migrate to IPv6.

The challenge confronting industry and government is that transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6 is time-consuming and could become costly to each entity. The IPv4 to IPv6 transition falls to the bottom of the priorities for organizations as it does at my current employer. The IPv4 to IPv6 seems similar to the Year 2000 code scans completed by organizations in the 1990’s. Companies had to fix operating systems and application code to work with the year 2000. The IPv4 to IPv6 seem to have a similar issue with IP addresses but have no hard end date, as the Year 2000 (Y2K) conversion did. No brutal end date has been broadcast, and the date of the last IPv4 address available is May 1st, 2017, for example. If this were the well-published industry, a household, or a person having an issue not being able to use the IPv4 address scheme, it may move the world towards transitioning to IPv6.

References

ANTD. (2017, April). Estimating USG IPv6 & DNSSEC External Service Deployment Status. NIST Information Technology Laboratory, Advanced Network Technologies Division. Retrieved from https://usgv6-deploymon.antd.nist.gov/govmon.html

CIO. (2012, May). Planning Guide/Roadmap Toward IPv6 Adoption within the U.S. Government. Retrieved from https://assets.cio.gov/assets/files/resources/2012_IPv6_Roadmap_FINAL_20120712.pdf

IPv6now. (2015, April). IPv6 RFCs and Standards Working Groups. IPv6 Now Pty Ltd. Retrieved from http://ipv6now.com.au/RFC.php

Posts in this Series